“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press... (Sec. 4, 1987 Philippine Constitution)”
BALI, Indonesia/18 November 2011 by Frencie Carreon—US President Barack Obama’s announcement at the East Asia Summit held in Bali of a visit by Secretary of State Hlllary Clinton to Myanmar next month is welcomed by the Association of South East Asian Nations, or ASEAN. “Taken together these are the most important steps toward reform in Burma that we’ve seen in years. Of course there’s far more to be done,” President Obama has said.
ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan said, “Secretary Clinton’s visit next month will very possibly help widen a space for Myanmar to be integrated back into the international community after long isolation. That will be the best dividend of all.”
“The US ‘ decision to enhance its engagement to a higher level is a welcome development indeed,” Dr. Pitsuwan stressed. “[It is] A kind of “reform dividend” that will, I am sure, contribute to more opening and more reconciliation in Myanmar.”
Pitsuwan’s reaction came, after the visiting US President announced that the United States, the latest participant to the East Asian Summit, is backing Myanmar as it sits for the first time as chair of the ASEAN in 2014.
“The goodwill and compassion of the world must have convinced Myanmese authority that the international community was not all and entirely antagonistic to their country. That same goodwill can now help Myanmar move further on her road of reform and reconciliation,“ Dr. Pitsuwan said.
“ASEAN has taken time and care to deliberate on the issue of Myanmar’s chairmanship in 2014, just to make sure that the political reconciliation and reforms gain enough momentum so as to avoid any risk of reversal. We have also been expecting some reciprocal movement from the international community for the positive development inside Myanmar,” he stated. (Frencie Carreon, The PhilSouth Angle)
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